April 2022

Allen to Receive DSA And Create a First

Danny Allen will create more than one slice of Carolinas GCSA history when he accepts the Distinguished Service Award at Conference and Show in Myrtle Beach, SC in November. Not only will he join a select group of 32 other legends who have earned the honor, he will be one half of the first combination of brothers to win the award. Older brother Randy Allen, CGCS – who was president in 1989 - won the DSA in 2006.

Danny Allen was president that year, returned to serve a second term on the board a decade later. He was the longtime golf course superintendent at Camden Country Club in Camden, SC before moving to Myrtle Beach, SC where he now maintains Aero Club Short Course, formerly known as Midway Par 3.

He learned of his award through a personal visit from Carolinas GCSA president Billy Bagwell from Callawassie Island Club in Okatie and director Jim Huntoon from Heritage Club on nearby Pawleys Island. Allen was surprised to see them turn up since he had been told to expect a visit from insurance representatives wanting to discuss potential changes to his benefits.

When Bagwell and Huntoon arrived at the designated appointment time, Allen said: “I know you guys aren’t insurance people. What are y’all doing here?”

“Danny was just as you’d expect Danny to be when we told him the news,” Bagwell says. “He was cool, calm and collected. But you could also tell he was happy and excited and grateful. Danny’s service to the industry and the people in it has been outstanding and over a long period. He is a man of integrity and always so humble.”

Bagwell and Huntoon then took Allen and his wife, Patricia, out to lunch where Allen was in fine form, Bagwell says, “telling story after story.”

Calendar of Events

April 8
Piedmont GCSA Match Play Team Championship

April 8
Piedmont GCSA Match Play Pairing Party - Holly Ridge Golf Links

April 14
UTA 3's Greenville Golf and Grill Social - Greenville, SC

April 19
MTA Field Day and Golf - Clemson Pee Dee REC and Florence Country Club - Florence, SC

April 26
2022 Hamrick Cup - Wildcat Cliffs - Highlands, NC

April 29
TTA 2022 Bob Mashburn Memorial Scholarship Tournament - Croasdaile Country Club

April 29
Low Country GCSA Skeet Shoot - Turkey Hill Plantation - Ridgeland, SC

May 2
Carolinas GCSA Assistant Superintendent Tournament, Carolina Lakes Golf Club,
Indian Land, SC

October 16 - 17
Fall Mountain Meeting
Blowing Rock Country Club
Blowing Rock NC

November 14 - 16
Carolinas GCSA Annual Conference and Show
Myrtle Beach Convention Center
Myrtle Beach, SC




Assistants Tee it Up For Championship

Assistant superintendents will compete for a place on the Carolinas GCSA Virlina Cup team when they tee it up at Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land, SC next month. The slot on the eight-person team is the major prize for the winner of the association’s assistant superintendent championship which was postponed earlier this year.

The assistants’ championship will be played within a two-person best ball event that is open to all Carolinas GCSA members, so long as their partner is an assistant. Play begins with a shotgun start at 10am on Monday, May 2. The assistant superintendent with the low gross score will help the Carolinas GCSA attempt to regain the Virlina Cup from the Virginia GCSA at Camden Country Club in Camden, SC in October.

“We’re really looking forward to hosting everyone and hope our central location will help draw a good turnout,” says host superintendnet and Carolinas GCSA director, Daryl Ewing. “It was disappointing that we couldn’t hold the golf back in January but at least it will be warmer for folks in May, and I think they will enjoy the golf course.”

Carolina Lakes opened in 2006 and was designed by Tim Freeland, who got his start in golf course architecture with Gary Player. Greens feature G1 bentgrass and the course record, if anyone fancies their chances, is 63 set by South Carolinian and PGA Tour star Kevin Kisner back in the days when he was competing in mini tour events.

Because of the pandemic, the most recent assistant superintendent championship was in January of 2020 when Dylan Jordan, then at Dormie Club in West End, NC, won at Landfall Country Club in Wilmington, NC. That was Jordan’s second consecutive assistant championship, but he missed playing in the Virlina Cup because it was cancelled in 2020 and he had left the Carolinas by the time it returned late in 2021.

The assistant superintendent championship is presented in partnership with Green Resource.

Lonnie Poole Plays Host to SE Conference, Finally

It took three attempts across two years, but the Carolinas GCSA finally got to host the Southeast Regional Conference at Lonnie Poole Golf Course at North Carolina State University in March. The energy and enthusiasm in the room at the gleaming new State View Hotel on campus was reflected in the education program put together by USGA Green Section agronomist Jordan Booth.

Speakers covered a wide range of topics including women in the golf course maintenance workforce, autonomous mowers, health, tournament preparation in a tight labor market and weed control. John Cunningham, CGCS general manager at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in Linville, also gave a thought-provoking presentation on ways golf course superintendents can attract talent to their team.

Perhaps the most confronting presentation came from University of Tennessee Ph.D., Devon Carroll, who highlighted the dearth of women in the turfgrass industry. “The grass doesn’t know whether it is a man or a woman managing it,” she said.

Yet, as reflected in the roughly 30:1 male to female ratio in the audience, men continue to dominate the industry. That is an issue, as conference moderator Jordan Booth pointed out earlier in the day. “We complain about labor but we’re not employing half the people out there,” he said.

The Southeast Regional Conference at Lonnie Poole was originally scheduled for 2020 but the onset of the pandemic forced its cancellation. The same thing happened in 2021. The education conference followed a golf tournament the day before on NC State’s Arnold Palmer designed golf course.

Host superintendent and Carolinas GCSA director Brian Green received a lot of praise for his presentation of the golf course and also got a special nod before play from golf professional, Nick Dillman. Dillman, who joined Lonnie Poole as an assistant pro in 2009 and became head professional two years later, made a point of thanking Green for helping with his “career development” over that time.

Traynham Joins Jones On Wellman Revival

Andy Traynham is taking on a big role in his first job as a golf course superintendent helping steer a multi-million-dollar revival of The Wellman Club in Johnsonville, SC. Traynham is working with world renowned architect Rees Jones and co-designer Bryce Swanson on the project which is expected to wrap up this fall.

Before taking the job earlier this year, Traynham spent seven years working for Carolinas GCSA past president Steve Hamilton, CGCS at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Dunes Club was designed by Jones’ father Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

The Wellman Club was originally designed by Ellis Maples and served members and the public for more than 40 years until the owner filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The course closed and remained that way until Florence County bought the property in 2020 and entered into a 50-year ground lease with the City of Johnsonville for the city to revive and operate the golf course.

The project, expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million is being funded largely by money raised by the Florence County One-Cent Capital Project Sales Tax. Down To Earth Golf Facility Services, who hired Traynham, will manage the course. Construction is being performed by Southeastern Golf. Traynham will maintain TifTuf fairways and Tifeagle greens.

Traynham’s roots in golf course maintenance go way back. An uncle, Kyle Traynham, is the longtime superintendent at Willow Creek Golf and Country Club in Duncan, SC and his grandfather, Kyle’s father, Dillard Traynham was a golf course superintendent. Dillard Traynham also built Paris Mountain Country Club in Greenville, SC and won the Carolinas GCSA championship a record six times, along with two SC State Amateurs and a Carolinas Amateur. He served as president of the South Carolina Golf Association in the ‘50s and is a member of the SC Golf Hall of Fame.

Powell to Introduce Mach 1 In Old Chatham Renovation

Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, NC is closing next month for a four-month renovation project that includes an overhaul of greens, fairways, tees and bunkers. Carolinas GCSA past president Brian Powell, CGCS will work on the project with golf course architect Rees Jones and associate Greg Muirhead.

The primary motivation for the project is the club’s desire to replace its Champion bermudagrass greens, which replaced bentgrass in 2012. Over time, mutations have encroached in the putting surfaces affecting their roll and consistency. The club will use Mach 1 bermudagrass on the new greens.
Additionally, 22 acres of fairways and 70 tees will be converted to Zorro zoysiagrass. The club has 220,000 square feet of bunker space, and that total will be reduced by 14 percent, leaving sand in strategic areas but reducing the maintenance staff’s need to maintain such a high footprint. The bunkers will be rebuilt with the Capillary Concrete method.
A significant tweaking to the par-four 16th hole is planned as well. A water hazard will be built to the left of the fairway from the landing area to the green, and new tees will be added at 250 and 270 yards, offering the option of playing a reachable par-four with a stern risk-reward component.

The pond will also provide 1.5 million gallons of water storage. The final component of the project includes the practice tee being converted to zoysia, the addition of 12 high-quality hitting mats and a mobile shade canopy.

Powell led the Carolinas GCSA in 2014. He has been at Old Chatham since the start. The golf course was designed by Jones and opened in 2001.

– Lee Pace